Ovation: 19-Year-Old Dancer Saves Lives As Human Ladder On Sinking Costa Concordia.
I’m a HUGE fan of the 1997 movie Titanic. I think James Cameron’s reimagining of that terrible night in April 1912 is one of the greatest stories every told. He combined archeological and historical facts with a fictional love story to relive the nightmare night when the world’s first unsinkable cruise liner sunk. I can’t wait to see the movie again, in 3D, when it is re-released this spring.
While the Titanic wasn’t unsinkable, history argues that it did have heroes on board … as did the Costa Concordia which ran aground off the west coast of Italy last weekend.
James Thomas, a nineteen-year-old dancer employed by the ship turned himself into a human ladder of sorts to allow dozens of men and woman to climb to safety. Thomas was able to stretch his 6 foot 3 inch frame across a gap between levels and allowed passengers to climb down his body into life rafts waiting below!
“We couldn’t get the lifeboats off and the life rafts the staff use were stuck to the side of the ship. It was frightening. People couldn’t get down, the drop was too far, so I lowered myself into position. I grabbed the lifeboat with one arm and the upper deck rail with the other and let people climb on my shoulder and down my body” – James Thomas to the Daily Mirror
Most of the ship’s 1,023 crew members were hired to run its many bars, casinos, swimming pools and theaters. And while it’s true that onboard personnel that aren’t part of the ship’s crew complete a series of safety courses, they’re not necessarily qualified to act as seamen during emergencies.
Which makes Mr. Thomas’ actions all the more heroic. Maybe someone will make a movie about HIM.